Told in alternating chapters that skip between 1962 and 2001, Jim Lynch's third novel is both a beautifully crafted, fictional remembrance of the Seattle World's Fair and a cleverly plotted tale of the very public death of one man's political ambitions.
Lynch places Roger Morgan at the centre of his story. Morgan is Mr Seattle, the young man who, in the early Sixties, sketched the outline of the remarkable Space Needle on a napkin and then brought it to life. Credited with announcing the city to the world, Morgan is a largely peripheral figure in Seattle's 21st century landscape before events persuade him to announce his candidacy for mayor in 2001.
Enter Helan Gulanos, a journalist with one of the city's daily newspapers.
Gulanos doesn't buy into the myth that cosets Morgan and begins picking at his seams, setting up a conventional but diverting chase through history and towards the dark corners of the mayoral candidate's past. In all of this, Lynch is a sparkling host, rendering history in glorious technicolor and the recent past in absolute and black-and-white moral tones.